The world in 2006

Russia cuts off gas to Ukraine, just because they can.

The UK becomes dependent on Russian gas because the North Sea has been depleted past the point where we can be self-sufficient. This raises the question for many people in the UK about a) what’s going to happen now that we’re at the mercy of Russia for our energy supplies and b) where all the oil money went? Norway have a fat social fund earning interest against a rainy day, built up using their North Sea oil revenue, but strangely enough, the UK doesn’t. One therefore wonders what Thatcher, Major and Blair spent all the revenue on, or indeed if they acted in the interests of the British people, or someone else, when they set the level of taxation on those companies who lifted the oil, during the peak period over which they presided.

Republican politician Tom Delay announces that he won’t stand for re-election due to his role in massive corruption scandals.

Dick Cheney shoots an old man in the face. Bush expresses renewed confidence in his VP.

A bomb blows up the Al Askari mosque in Samarra, a major Shiite holy site.

Big fuss about Iranian uranium enrichment. Iranians make fun of American blustering, neo-cons renew their demands for the US to attack Iran.

Israel invades Lebanon again, fails to make any significant impact on Hezbollah, but kills lots of civilians and pounds civil infrastructure to rubble.

Tony Blair works hard to prevent a ceasefire so that the Israelis can try to finish off Hezbollah (or perhaps the Lebanese civilians and infrastructure, given that they weren’t doing too well with Hezbollah.)

August (silly season):
Massive media circus in the UK over an alleged airline terror plot by some guys who didn’t have any bombs or in some cases, any passports.

Lordi, a Finnish heavy metal band dressed as monsters, wins the Eurovision Song Contest instead of the usual drippy folk singer.

Bush gets some legislation through, with the help of spineless Democrats and a supine US media, intended to provide his employees with working immunity from the provisions of the Geneva Conventions against any crimes like torture that they may feel the need to commit. This was presented as an anti-torture bill, but nobody with half a brain seems to be fooled.

North Korea announces nuclear weapons test.

A new Lancet study estimates approx 650,000 excess deaths in Iraq since the US invasion and subsequent occupation. Once again the right wing noise machine tries to pretend that there is something wrong with their methodology, but only statistical illiterates are fooled. Meanwhile, long-silent Iraqi blog-girl Riverbend has something to say about it.

Saddam sentenced to death. In a what many around the world see as a blatant Bush PR stunt, given that the verdict was right on the eve of the US mid-term elections.

Democrats win elections anyway, take control of Congress but still have no detectable spines.

Bush finally sacks Rumsfeld, architect of the ongoing bloodbath and strategic disaster in Iraq.

Massive series of car bomb attacks in Sadr City Baghdad kills hundreds. US strafes mourners.

Poll finds that 6 out of 10 Iraqis support attacks on US troops. Bush expresses renewed confidence that the US will succeed in bringing ‘freedom and democracy’ to Iraq.

Blair interviewed by police in Cash for Honours scandal, but not arrested. Policeman in charge of the inquiry promoted. British public becomes slightly more cynical.

John Scarlett, who was in charge of putting together the notorious ‘sexed-up’ WMD dossier, is to receive a knighthood. British public becomes slightly more cynical.

Police and intelligence sources tell their contacts in the media to expect major terrorist incidents in the UK over xmas. Nobody takes any notice though.

Saddam hangs, much of the world (see BBC comments page) apparently wonders why Bush and Blair aren’t hanging next to him.

A big chunk of the Canadian Arctic breaks off. The right-wing noise machine still tries to claim that global warming isn’t a real problem, but only fools believe them.


It’d be nice to hope for something better next year, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.


One Comment

  1. Posted January 2, 2007 at 3:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Caractacus. This is an excellent round-up of 2006 events.

    I was going to say I really enjoyed reading it but given the grimness of the news, the word “enjoy” is probably a bit insensitive. But a good read it is – and bitingly accurate.

    (It’s amazing who they’ll award knighthoods to isn’t it).

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